ede·​ma i-ˈdē-mə How to pronounce edema (audio)
: an abnormal infiltration and excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or in a serous cavity

called also dropsy

: watery swelling of plant organs or parts
: any of various plant diseases characterized by such swellings

Examples of edema in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just 4 years old when her dad died from a cerebral edema, Shannon is now an actress, producer and board chairwoman for the Bruce Lee Foundation. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 20 July 2023 Meanwhile, high-altitude pulmonary edema happens when the blood vessels in the lungs begin to leak fluid and fill up the lungs. Allie Conti, Field & Stream, 27 Sep. 2023 This condition results from a dangerously low concentration of sodium in the blood, which in extreme cases can cause potentially deadly pulmonary or cerebral edemas. Alisha McDarris, Popular Science, 2 Aug. 2023 The loaner caused the pressure sore to worsen and led to several other issues, including muscle spasms, edema and an inability to eat. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023 Follow the product label for the amount to use. Pests and Problems Some geraniums, particularly the ivy variety, suffer from a condition called edema on the underside of the leaves. Lynn McAlpine, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Oct. 2023 Diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy are largely driven by poor diabetic control and the length of time a person has diabetes. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 18 Sep. 2023 During the long and arduous 54-hour labor, Valerie contracted an infection and experienced severe swelling (a condition called edema). Courtney Biggs, Glamour, 11 Sep. 2023 In many people, lymphedema happens after a medical or surgical problem, such as arm edema after diagnosis/treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 20 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'edema.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Greek oidēma swelling, from oidein to swell; akin to Armenian aytnu- swell, Old English ātor poison

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of edema was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near edema

Cite this Entry

“Edema.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edema. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ede·​ma i-ˈdē-mə How to pronounce edema (audio)
: an abnormal collection of watery fluid in a bodily tissue or cavity

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British oedema
plural edemas or chiefly British oedemas also edemata
or chiefly British oedemata
: an abnormal excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or in a serous cavity

called also dropsy

More from Merriam-Webster on edema

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